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Have you heard the hot gossip?

Read all about it! We may be in lockdown but there's still plenty to shout about in Bucks & Oxon this week, from hot new hotels to local arts and Michelin-starred gossip.

In with the new

Feeling hungry High Wycombe? Just as well as there are two new foodie outposts coming your way, including an Italian restaurant and gelateria moving into the old Ottakar’s bookshop in the town centre. Meanwhile American burger joint Five Guys has confirmed it will be opening in March (Covid dependent) with a freshly made comfort food offering of burgers, fries and shakes. I’ll take an Oreo Milkshake and a Bacon Cheeseburger with all the toppings, please.

Also in Bucks, keep your eyes peeled for meals on wheels from airstream-style food truck The Rocket Oven, set up by husband and wife team George and Tori after the success of delivering food boxes to their local community during lockdown. Expect lamb gyros (above), satay chicken, falafel and more all made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

Glass of red after dinner? Say hello to the biggest wine wall in Bucks and Oxon (at seven metres no less). You’ll find it at BeerGinVino, which is new in Haddenham, selling a range of artisan gins, local and regional craft beers and fantastic wines created by independent producers. As an essential retailer, they are still open Thurs 5-8 and Sat 10-5, so pop into the store if you can. Otherwise, you can order your supplies for Damp January here, with extended free delivery to Long Crendon, Moreton, Thame, Towersey, Haddenham and all of the Long Crendon post code HP18 9 on orders over £30. Delivery is promised within 24 to 48 hours, so you won’t have to suffer an empty glass for long.

Elsewhere, in Bicester, a new burrito bar (loving the funky frontage) has recently opened from the team behind BoHoBurrito, a regular pop-up at Gloucester Green and Headington Market. You can order online for pickup via their Facebook page.

Missing the excellent food of The Potter’s Arms? Well, you’re in luck. This beloved village local in rural Bucks, just outside Amersham, have just opened up their terrace bar for click and collect food and delivery. You can now get goodies like bacon rolls, doughnuts, pains au chocolat, and coffee from 10:30 – 2pm Weds to Sun, and pizzas, burgers, fish & chips, and milkshakes in the evenings Weds to Sat 5 – 8pm. ‘Hang on’, I hear you say, ‘What about their excellent Thai food?!’ Fear not! On Friday and Saturday evenings they have a Thai Menu. Phew.

And finally, an exciting update on new Wallingford pub Five Little Pigs (a joint venture between co-founder of Lata Lata in High Wycombe and founders of Wallingford’s The Keep and Albino Flamingo Gin). The pub’s kickstarter campaign has now closed, reaching double the target (a whopping £50k) and is set to open in spring 2021. Check out the menu on Instagram which features Albino Flamingo Gin-cured salmon, brown-butter chick kiev with wild garlic and more totally tasty dishes. We. Can’t. Wait.

The show must go on

Missing your theatre fix? Creation Theatre to the rescue with its brand new virtual show Grimm Tales for Fragile Times & Broken People (rather timely, don’t you think?) running from 28 Jan – 14 Feb. Directed by Gari Jones (the brains behind Creation’s brilliant Christmas production The Wonderful Wizard of Oz) the show delves into the Grimm Brothers’ twisted fairytales and is suitable for ages 12+ (£20 per device).

Hot hotel incoming!

Oxford’s oldest independent department store, Boswells, sadly closed down last year but it’s not all bad news. The site will soon be turned into a chic hotel with developers promising to pay homage to the building’s rich heritage by refurbishing the iconic 1920s exterior and frontage, including the Boswell & Co signs that will remain in tact. Work will begin on The Store Hotel early this year.

Time to shop

Image: @rupertbarry

Interiors emporium and Muddy favourite Life at Nettlebed has held a bricks and mortar shop in Nettlebed’s beautifully converted Victorian Church for over 15 years and now we’re excited to report it’s gone digital for 2021! Found In The Barn features a curated collection of the shop’s gorgeous homewares and unique pieces that are available for delivery.

And finally…

The 2021 collab you didn’t know you needed. Michelin-starred chef and Marlow local Tom Kerridge has joined forces with British Airways for an in-flight menu on short haul trips. The menu, which must be pre-ordered 12 hours before your flight, features a selection of sandwiches, wraps and pies made with ingredients sourced in Britain. We’ll be ordering the Ham Hock & Smoked Cheddar on our flight to somewhere sunny as soon as restrictions are lifted.

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